Short films on climate change featuring native trees, daily life top 6th Indie-Siyensya   

PASAY CITY – Moments filled with excitement and anticipation surrounded the halls of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) last Feb. 25 as the 6th Indie-Siyensya Filmmaking Competition organized by the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute marked its first physical Awarding Ceremony after almost three years and two seasons of virtual runs. 

“K5: Katutubong Kahoy Kontra Krisis sa Klima” directed by Celine Murillo bagged the best film award for the open category. 

The mini-documentary film discusses how planting native trees, while limited, is an important nature-based solution for mitigating the climate crisis.  

Second best film for the open category was awarded to “Climacts” by DOST-SEI scholar and De La Salle University student Kyle Carlo Lasala. 

Climacts is a documentary film that highlights the root cause and drastic effects of climate change.

It features the existing and developing actions with emphasis on systemic change.  

Meanwhile, “Marka ng Pawikan,” a film directed by Humphrey Mark Gian Francesco Torcuator, a captivating film which shows how climate change directly affects pawikan’s brooding and survival, causing detrimental effects to their species, received the award for the third best film for the open category. 

For the Youth category, “Tanaw Juan” directed by Yashmen A. Gerez of Quezon Science High School won the Best Film Award.

The movie was praised for its powerful storytelling, compelling character, and its ability to raise awareness on the impacts of climate change in everyday life.

It follows the story of Juan who goes through his normal daily routine and casually explains scientific concepts and phenomena surrounding climate change with various encounters throughout his errand journey.  

The team’s concept of climate change expression and communication is delivered through an interactive, engaging, and fun way transitioning into a motivational mood for a call for action as the film’s ending statement. 

The power duo of sisters Sophia and Felizia Shayn of De La Salle University and Marcelo H. del Pilar won the second-best film under the youth category for their entry “Marvels of Science: Climate Change.”

Their explainer tackled climate change’s impacts to life, environment and the entire world. 

The film “Sirak” by Charles Joshua Uy of Philippine Science High School – Eastern Visayas Campus snatched the third-best film award for the youth category.

“Sirak,” a Waray word which means sunny, is an explainer film which communicates climate change through the greatest common denominator, which is heat felt by humans. 

Also bagging trophies and cash grants were crowd favorites “Climacts,” and “Tanaw Juan” for winning the Viewers’ Choice Award for the Open and Youth category.

These films garnered the most number of votes gathered during the physical voting held at Cinematheque Centres last January 21-22 and online voting held last January 28 to February 6. 

All top three films for each category received a clapperback-designed 3D trophy, a certificate, and a cash grant.

The best films were given P100,000 while the second and third best films received P50,000 and P30,000, respectively.

Other finalists also won consolation prizes of P5,000 each, while the Viewers’ Choice Awardees claimed a cash grant of P20,000, a certificate and a trophy. 

The department’s leader, Secretary Renato U. Solidum, Jr., emphasized the importance of science communication in national development, anchored in research that is impactful, useful and relevant to society.  

“Through the Indie-Siyensya Science Filmmaking Competition, we hope to highlight the important role of science for national development, encourage our students to pursue meaningful STEM careers, and contribute to forwarding important causes and moving people into positive action,” Sec. Solidum added. 

DOST-SEI Director Josette T. Biyo also thanked all the filmmakers for making this year’s Indie-Siyensya run a special one as it gathered more than 200 film entries, a record high since the competition was launched. 

She also thanked DOST-SEI’s partner, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), for being instrumental in popularizing the science films through film screenings in Cinematheque Centres and online viewing platform JuanFlix. 

“We give thanks to our young Filipino filmmakers, who were brave enough to participate and take the challenge to be part of Indie-Siyensya’s movement to use films to communicate science and forward social and scientific advocacy,” Dr. Biyo said. 

Indie-Siyensya, which aims to promote science communication and provide a platform for young filmmakers to highlight their work, featured thought-provoking films that tackle encompassing topics on climate change – from its threatening impacts to helping mitigate its effects and offering solutions all related to the theme “Communicating Climate Change Action.”

The top three best films from each category outshine 267 entries from across the Philippines. 

The next season for the Indie-Siyensya Film Festival is expected to return in the second quarter of the year.  



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